My mom has been organizing and cleaning up some of the things in my old room. I swear, every time I come home she has another box of keepsake things for me to clutter up my house instead of hers! This time though, she sent me a card that contained a newspaper clipping with a photo. In the card she wrote, “This was really a time I realized you’d go get the world!”
The photo in the article was of me and three other students, taken when I was directing the talent show—one of my favorite memories of high school. The show itself was amazing, and I still am extremely proud of it. Looking at that picture reminded me how freaking hard I had to work to pull off that show. I hadn’t realized what it took to have that large of a production! And on top of creating that event, I was also cheerleading, dancing, in the school musical, and teaching dance. Oh, and I was in school. Every single second I was awake, I was learning, creating, or coordinating something. It was amazing and exhilarating and I loved it! Today I recognize that I learned three powerful things about productivity during that exciting time that would help me with my career today.
- Use your support system! I have an amazing group of friends and family, whom you will meet on here, and they provided incredible support to me at the time that photo was taken. My best friend taught the choreography for one of the production numbers while I was at cheerleading practice, and also came over at 6:00 a.m. on a weekend to help me choreograph one of the other pieces. Another friend brought dinner to me at school, so I wouldn’t have to waste time going home for it between the musical and talent show practices. And of course, my greatest supporter of all, my mom, would make me tea at the end of the day, while I calmed down and tried to do my homework. Using the supports offered by my friends and family was a great way for me to be more productive during that hectic time, so I learned to ask others for help when I need it. It is always okay to ask others for help or to delegate tasks to someone else when necessary.
- Figure out what is distracting you. I recently started to think about the difference in my younger self vs. who I am today. In high school I didn’t have cable or AOL, so I was never caught up on the latest shows or in gossiping online with friends, like some of my other classmates. And that was why I was SO productive! I canceled out all the distracting noise. Today, I acknowledge that my television consumption and addiction to Bravo is time that I can use more productively…like writing content for this blog! Checking and eliminating the noise, distractions, and wasted time is a key piece to being productive and getting the world. 😉
- Set deadlines. Back in high school, I always gave myself deadlines. If I needed to create a dance, I would make sure it was ready by the end of the week. Today, I make project plans and set realistic deadlines to accomplish my goals. (For example, I started this website in early 2018 and hope to launch it by summer. Let’s see how I do!) Creating deadlines holds me accountable and ensures that I keep moving the ball forward in any given area. And then meeting the deadlines has the added benefit of increasing my self-confidence and sense of accomplishment, which encourages me to continue doing what I’m doing.